Spring is the perfect time to teach preschoolers about the weather. Spring showers may lead to an afternoon thundershower.
Kids are intrigued by rain and lightning and thunder. This fun spring science experiment gives little ones an up close look at how clouds make rain. Then, of course, be sure to go jump in some puddles! That’s always a favorite springtime activity.
They’ll be begging to make a rain cloud in a jar all season long.
Rain Cloud in a Jar
Before starting this project, discuss with your preschoolers how rain is made. Inside a cloud, there are many water droplets. These water droplets move around in the cloud bumping into each other. As they do, they stick to each other making raindrops. These raindrops continue to get bigger and bigger until they’re so heavy the cloud can’t hold them anymore. When that happens, they fall to the ground as rain.
What You’ll Need
You should be able to find each of these products at your local grocery or dollar store. If not, you can order them from Amazon by clicking on the images below.
How to Make Your Rain Cloud in a Jar
Gather your supplies. Fill your jars with water to about 2 inches from the top. If you fill your jars too full, you won’t have enough room to make the “cloud”.
Also, if you can, let each child create their own rain cloud in a jar. Lessons tend to “stick” better when done in a hands-on way.
Spray a layer of shaving cream on the top of the water in each jar. This will represent the cloud. Be sure that you don’t make your “cloud” too compact, or the “rain” will have trouble getting through it. Make sure to spray it loosely on top.
You may want to do this outdoors or on a plastic table cloth to prevent a mess. And, young children may not have the hand-strength needed to do this step.
Once kids have their clouds “just right,” let them squirt a few drops of food coloring around the top and sides of the shaving cream cloud. They can use all one color or multiple colors.
You will need liquid food coloring. Gel coloring won’t drip like you need it to for this experiment.
The food color will slowly start to leak through the cloud, which will look like rain coming through the clouds.
This is such a fun, hands-on science experiment for young learners. And, it’s a great addition to your springtime homeschool science lessons.